MA in English & Creative Writing - Screenwriting

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Online Master’s in English & Creative Writing - Screenwriting Concentration

Deepen your understanding of this specialized genre with an online master’s in screenwriting concentration at SNHU. The visual art has taken hold in society – this Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting is an advanced exploration of the world of film and video, from shorts and episodic serials to feature-length blockbusters and documentaries.

This English and creative writing master’s in screenwriting is based on a comprehensive study of the visual medium of film, with a special focus on story structure, character development and creative writing. You will explore all of the forms that screenwriting takes -- feature-length and short films, television episode and mini-series, commercial, news broadcasting and Internet-based video.

At the culmination of the master’s in screenwriting program, you will have developed your own screenplay, one that takes you deep into subjects that matter to you and explores the necessary skills related to the video medium. This may the beginning of a feature-length film, a documentary, shorts, television pilots or any of the myriad types of screenplays.

Master’s in English and Creative Writing Skills
for Film

"My films are made on paper," Alfred Hitchcock famously remarked. The art of visual storytelling begins with the story - without the script, the film does not exist. Stories can be told in various formats, but for a visual presentation it is essential for the aspiring screenwriter to understand how the elements of plot, scene and character need to be translated into a working script.

While an understanding and analysis of literature (whatever the genre) is at the core of this MA degree, the screenwriting concentration places a special emphasis on visual storytelling. Designed by experienced and distinguished faculty, this English and creative writing master’s in screenwriting will give you a powerful understanding of how story, character, theme, action, visuals and dialogue intertwine to create a visual moment in time. Collaboration is encouraged, and direct interaction with faculty and peers encourages creativity and pushes the imagination to new heights.

Screenwriting Concentration

ENG-523: Screenwriting Fundamentals
In this course, writers will learn the essential elements of screenwriting, including plot structure, character, scene, dialogue, and the craft of visual storytelling. Beginning with the mechanics of scripts for television and film and the process of script outline and written synopses ("treatments"), attention is then given to storytelling through script structure with a focus on feature-length film. Existing movie scripts and films will be examined as writers create and build on scenes and dialogue in preparation for the course's final project a short one-act screenplay.
Take ENG-550 for 2014 catalog and prior and ENG 51
ENG-547: Screenwriting Thesis Writing
This workshop-oriented course is designed for writers who seek to write a feature-length screenplay for their theses. Writers will share script treatments (plot summaries), outlines, and written script pages, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts, as well as watch films, read scripts, and discuss screenplays. Through the writing and revision process, writers will submit final feature-length script treatments, outlines, and the first act of their feature-length screenplay theses.
ENG-523 and completed 24 credits
ENG-557: Screenwriting Thesis Completion
In this course, writers will work on their screenplay theses through rewrites and group feedback, and offer constructive feedback on other class members' scripts. Focus at this stage will be given to examining character development, motivation, and subtext through visual storytelling, and in identifying plot inconsistencies and weaknesses. Writers will complete their feature-length screenplay theses.

Creative Writing Careers

The visual medium of film has never been larger and audiences have never been more engaged. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the arts, entertainment and recreation industry is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2020.

From scripts for news anchors to commercials, blockbuster movies, independent films and shorts, and television, the success of the visual actions rests on the backbones of scripts. Whether you pursue an independent career and develop scripts on your own or write for specific projects, including rewriting and editing, the future is wide open for talented screenwriters.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options.  Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.

Additional requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree (can be in a discipline outside of the intended MA degree program).
  • Statement of Purpose: 200-500 words explaining why you wish to enter the program.
  • Writing Sample:  Minimum 3-5 pages (i.e. research paper, creative work, critical analysis of a literary piece, or work from previous academic studies).

Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on your educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study. This policy is effective for new students enrolling for the 15TW4 graduate term starting April 27, 2015.

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